What to Buy (and What to Miss) at Trader Joe’s This Christmas
Trader Joe’s loves the theme, and judging by the sheer wealth of holiday items, they have a hell of a lot of fun with the Christmas season. The selection of cookies, candy and other edible food is frankly huge, so we took the liberty of trying it all and letting you know which foods are worthy of your money and your mouth.
Now, before we dive into this, we must point out that these items represent options that were available for purchase in Portland, Oregon, and that prices and availability can vary from location to location. For example, not all stores receive their cookies from the same manufacturer, so the cookies I used may be slightly different from the cookies available to you, and so on. Let’s get started.
These are the products that I will gladly buy and eat again.
- This is a sediment, my dear cookie! Mixture: I was skeptical about this layered jar of sugar and spices and anything that looks pretty, but the cookies I baked with this mixture were delicious. It’s kind of like a kitchen sink, with peanut butter, oats, Graham crackers and coffee, and the result is a chewy and moist treat with just the right amount of sweetness.
- Hot Peppermint Chocolate and Sipping Chocolate : The peppermint cocoa is invigorating but not toothpaste-like and is covered in small chocolate chunks, while the sipped chocolate is rich and bittersweet. Both are great.
- Unprocessed ham, cut in a spiral: I love ham, it is tender, juicy and a little greasy. I actually thought the frosting was a little heavy on the clove, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.
- Frozen traditional potato latches: There are brown potato latches and thick egg latches that fall right in the middle. They’re not as good as homemade ones – obviously – but they cost less than three dollars, are ready in less than 20 minutes, and you don’t have to chop a single potato.
- Cherry Chocolate Liqueur: The chocolate is bittersweet and the taste really shines.
- Chocolate Mint Wrinkle Cookies: These brownie-type cookies have an invigorating mint flavor and are not so sweet that you can’t eat three in quick succession.
- Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls : I’ve made many tube cinnamon rolls (and a few from scratch) and these are the best store-bought buns I’ve ever had. While not technically a “holiday” item, they are perfect for Christmas morning, so I include them.
- Cheese Trees: Apart from meat, this was the only spicy holiday offering, and these little trees stole my heart. They are mostly like the more oily Cheez-It, and I don’t know who wouldn’t like that.
- Gingerbread Cookie Sticks : These are beautifully spiced, light brownies and wonderfully chewy.
- A duo of tea cookies: both flavors – hot cocoa and ginger – just melt in your mouth and are perfect to sit in your mouth with a handful.
- All of Joe-Joe’s: Candy Can Joe-Joe’s holiday suggestions are great on their own, but the chocolate-covered sampler that contains ginger and peanut butter flavors is downright indulgent.
- English Toffee with Nuts: buttery, slightly salty, topped with dark chocolate and nuts. In short, he is flawless, and I do not accept his criticism.
- Danish Buttered Cookies: They’re actually no different from the jar you can buy at the pharmacy, but these cookies are already perfect and this jar is prettier.
- Seasoned Lamb: I’m not sure where this lamb comes from geographically, but it had a mild flavor, moist, easy to cook and wonderfully seasoned. I ate it as hell and I’ll buy it again for Christmas.
- Gingerbread House Kit : As I mentioned earlier , I am very poor at building gingerbread houses, but the very large sloped roof on this makes it less likely to fall apart. I was able to build and decorate this house with just one stream of foul words and it is truly impressive.
- Lebkuchen biscuits with icing sugar: these cookies at the same time very gentle and completely chewing, and provides the perfect icing resistance crunch when you nadkusyvaete it.
- Brandy Beans: These are basically tiny portions of brandy inside kidney-shaped chocolate and they are the reason for the season.
These things were good, but not good enough for me to buy them next year.
- Chocolate reindeer and sled: this set is very cute, but I don’t like that you have to glue paper gifts together, mainly because I didn’t have any glue and had to use duct tape.
- Candy Cane Green Tea: This is a very pleasant decaffeinated tea with a subtle marking. After a busy evening of tasting the cookies and sweets, it was very pleasant.
- Irish Whiskey Caramel: The whiskey was noticeable, which is nice, but the texture of the caramel was a little fondant.
- All Chocolate Stars: Both of these crunchy little heavenly biscuits had great taste and texture, but after a while the chocolate got a little hefty.
- Peppermint creams topped with dark chocolate: These are the finest versions of Yorkie mint patties.
- Party Popcorn Tin: It’s impossible to hate a large can of holiday popcorn, but I’m not quite sure they’ve replaced the traditional buttery flavor with olive oil. The white cheddar, however, was impeccable and there is even more (orange) cheese popcorn mixed with the caramel portion, which is great because there is more cheese here.
- Dark Chocolate Orange: This was exactly what it should be – a ball of citrus dark chocolate that breaks into pieces very nicely.
- Chocolate Bar Quintet: All the flavors are quite tasty, the wrappers are beautiful, and this is a very economical way to get chocolate stocking fillings.
- Salted honey and toffee crackers covered in milk chocolate: These are salty candies with coffee and chocolate on them, which is great, but half of the chocolate kept falling off the crackers.
- Wassail Winter Punch: The lemon and currants in this punch keep the spicy apple from straying towards the sugary, and makes a pretty good mixer.
- Gingerbread Molasses Cookie Dough : This cookie was chewy, quite gingerbread and slightly salty.
There is nothing offensive on this list, but it didn’t leave me wanting more.
- St. Christopher Glühwein: My friend and I digested the bottle without too much trouble, but it’s not very tasty and you’d better think about your own wine.
- Marbellous Chocolate Bar: This is a white and dark chocolate bar in a pretty wrapper. Everything is fine.
- Peppermint Bark: I love peppermint bark and this one is too thick. I also didn’t feel the tons of peppermint in the chocolate itself and the candy pieces kept falling off.
- Egg Nog: This is a very soft, not too thick and not too flavored nog. Would be perfectly ok with a little whiskey and an extra cinnamon grater, but I was not overwhelmed.
- Gingerbread Coffee: This is a coffee with a very aromatic taste, and the aroma and taste of gingerbread completely overwhelm the medium roast.
- Christmas Cookie Tray: Buttery, surprisingly crunchy cookies are somewhat hidden by a waxy sugary icing. They are very cute though.
- Mini Gingerbread Men: These little dudes are called “trendy gentlemen,” but they only wear buttons. In addition, they are a little dry.
- Nutty Popcorn Trio: Moose Munch is not, but there was a wonderful brown butter flavor in the pecans’ offer.
- Assortment of Twist Pretzel Pretzel in Chocolate: Very nice to look at, but a little boring in taste.
- Italian Butter Cookies : They were a little bland and dry and I haven’t tasted another since the first tasting.
- Cinnamon Stars: Lebkuchen for the poor, to be honest, with a very powdery glaze.
- Hot Cocoa O’s by Trader Joe’s: I wanted to love them, but they weren’t chocolate enough. However, the marshmallow was at its best.
- Chocolate Mousse Snowman: This guy was so cute, but it tasted very “hostess cupcake” with one note.
- Jingle Jangle: This is a milk chocolate coated crap that would be very helpful because of the salty component.
- An extraordinary bark from the best collection: A good bark is anything to do with contrasting flavors and textures, and this bark was too sweet.
- Assorted Pernigotti Truffles: If you pull the hazelnuts and crunchy shells from Ferrero Rocher, you will get them and be disappointed.
- Mini Chocolate Mousse: They taste like the aforementioned snowman.
What you might have missed
I wouldn’t buy them again, and neither will you.
- Any Pannetone: Pannetone is dry bread that pretends to be cake and I find it very offensive.
- Stelle Di Notte biscuits: they were soft, without a noticeable hazelnut flavor.
- Raw Maple Bourbon Ham, Boneless: This ham is drier and more expensive than the quarter ham we discussed above, with the texture of Canadian bacon. I also haven’t tasted maple or bourbon.
- Wintry Blend Coffee: This is just a very weak coffee with some unnecessary peppercorns.
- Caramel Flavor : It would be fun if the synthetic caramel didn’t taste good.
- Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit: The frosting in this set is not only too thick, but also insufficient. I was unable to implement any of the drawings I saw on the box, which upset me. The cookies are also tasteless.
While I went out of my way to get every holiday item available at my local TJs, I may have missed one or two. If I missed your favorite, leave it in the comments and yell at me for missing it.